A break from our regularly scheduled programming – we’re going to turn our attention to destinations. It’s been a minute since we’ve done a travel highlight but being quarantined in our home, we are feeling the itch to get on a plane and go just about anywhere! We are sure that you are feeling the same, so we wanted to offer a little wanderlust.
One of the places in the United States that few people turn to for summer vacations, is Utah. It’s a well-known winter destination with skiing and the Sundance Film Festival – but often unrecognized publicly is it’s gorgeous landscape as a summer destination. It’s home to a number of national parks that offer a variety of activities for everyone and unforgettable views.
Our principal planner, Kelly Soule, discovered it’s beauty when she was working for the Sundance Film Festival. She shares her favorite places to visit and photos from her travels to inspire you to make your post-quarantine plans!
Top Recommendations in Park City:
- High West Distillery & Restaurant
- No Name Bar
- Montage Resort
- Deer Valley Ski Resort
- Olympic Ski Park
Moab: Canyonlands and Arches National Parks
One of the most special places in the United States is Moab, UT. Home to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks, it's a small tourist town that serves as a hub for hikers, bikers and campers coming to explore the beautiful sites. Each park offers individual sights and you'll definitely want to ensure you plan for a full day in each. There's plenty of trails if you like to hike or bike but if you prefer to drive and take in the sights, there's options for that too!
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon offers sights you've never seen before. A truly work of magic by mother nature, the amazing red-orange-pink sandstone sculptures offer beautiful surroundings for hiking, biking and camping.
For animal lovers, one of the most impressive sights we have seen is on Antelope Island. Just 30 minutes outside of downtown Salt Lake City, the island now is home close to 700 free roaming bison. Driving through the island you can see them roaming the fields or crossing the street in front of your car. We've never been somewhere where you can get as up close and personal to a creature living it's natural habitat! It's not to miss.
Zion National Park
The first National Park in Utah, Zion National Park is another not to miss. Just a little over an hour from Bryce, Zion offers similar redstone views with that additional of their emerald pools. Majestic waterfalls and glistening pools offer refreshing spots for hikers and biker to sit back, relax and take in the views.
Deciding on a Wedding venue is a huge decision and there are tons of factors to take into consideration before signing the contract. While there are plenty more details to talk through with the venue before you sign on the dotted line, these are some insightful questions to help get you started and you may not think of unless you are in the Wedding biz. Of course you want to cover the basics (is the venue available on your preferred date, how many guests can the venue hold, pricing and payment information, cancellation policies etc.), but here are a few more things to consider from the pros when looking for a Wedding venue:
You will want to ask if the venue has any restrictions or rules about what décor you are allowed to bring in and what you can do with it inside the space. For example, some older or historic venues may not allow for candles or open flames or some venues do not allow confetti or glitter to be used. If you have your heart set on a grand confetti exit at the end of the night, make sure the venue allows it first!
While many venues will allow you to bring in any vendors you wish, some venues have exclusive relationships with certain vendors. Make sure you ask your venue if bringing in outside vendors will be possible or if they can provide you a list of vendors for you to choose from.
PRO TIP! Wedding venues are a great place to get recommendations for other vendors! They have seen many vendors come and go through their venue space and can help point you in the direction of a great vendor for your big day. Plus, having a vendor who has worked in your venue space can be great as they are already familiar with the space and its procedures.
If you are planning on having an outdoor Wedding, there are a few other factors to take into consideration when choosing a venue. You want to make sure they have a Plan B in case of inclement weather. Is there an indoor space available in the event that Mother Nature decides not to cooperate on your Wedding day? Ask to take a look at this space to make sure it fits with your vision for your Wedding day. Hopefully, you never have to use Plan B, but its always better to have the conversation ahead of time so there are no unpleasant surprises the day of your Wedding.
Day of Coordinator
Ask your venue if they provide a Day of Coordinator for your wedding. This would be the person from the venue there on site to help make sure everything goes smoothly and as planned on your Wedding day. Some venues will provide a Day of Coordinator free of charge, while others may offer the service for an additional fee. If your venue does not offer a Day of Coordinator, ask if you are allowed to bring in an external coordinator, as some venues may have restrictions. You will definitely want to ensure you have a point of contact for all your vendors and to run the show on the day-of.
Some larger Wedding venues may have multiple spaces they rent out individually on the same date for different groups. If you were hoping for a private and exclusive rental of the space, be sure to check with the venue if your rental is exclusive for your event or if they will be booking other events for the same date.
While some venues may offer free usage of their tech equipment (speakers, microphones, projectors, etc.) other venues may charge an additional fee for this or not offer any equipment on site at all. Be sure to ask about this up front so you know if you will need to rent any equipment or be sure the entertainment provides their own equipment.
An important logistical question to ask your venue is what time you and the other vendors will be allowed to get into the venue space on the day of your Wedding. This is important to ensure all your vendors have enough time to get everything set up on the morning of your Wedding day.
PRO TIP! Ask your venue if you are allowed to drop off décor and other supplies the night before the Wedding, rather than bringing everything in the day-of. Dropping all of this off the night before can help make the morning of your Wedding less stressful!
Always be sure to ask you venue about who will be responsible for the break down of the decor and setup after your Wedding. Some venues may provide staff to assist with taking down decor and bringing gifts to the designated vehicle, but others will not and it is important to know this ahead of time. If your venue leaves the break down up to you, be sure you have a plan for the end of the evening. Consider who will be responsible for gathering all the gifts and décor and ensuring they get to their next destination.
It is super important to make sure you are familiar with the policies of your venue regarding insurance. While some venues provide the liability insurance, other venues may request for you to provide this so make sure you ask!
It's May 15, 2020 and our world has changed drastically because of Covid-19. Many of us are stuck in our homes and if we are not, we are just starting to come out of quarantine unsure of what will come and when we can gather again.
The Wedding and Events industry is powering through every day, pivoting plans for our clients and guiding them to make safe decisions for themselves and their guests while honoring the countless hours that went into planning these celebrations.
Unfortunately, we are now at a point where we look out to the rest of 2020 and the vision of hosting gathers of 100+ people in the manner are used to and have planned for is unlikely. The decision to postpone is not as simple as it was a couple months ago. While we still recommend the same thought process from our previous post - which will help you get to place that you are ready to move forward with a plan b - we're now sharing some updated insight we have learned from our clients and want to help you find the best plan b for you and your fiance.
Option 1: Copy and Paste to 2021
Is it important to you to keep ALL of your original plans for your Wedding? Whether that be ensuring all your guests can attend or keeping the same date, you are willing to push it a year out in order to move forward with the Wedding you have always envisioned.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Celebrate Now, Party Later
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Perhaps the thought of postponing and extending your Wedding planning is exhausting and you want to figure out a way to make it happen in 2020. There's tons of ways to pivot and move forward with planning for a 2020 Wedding amid the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping it personal and special. Not sure how to do it? Here are some ideas:
HOW TO PIVOT
One of our main methodologies when working with couples on their Wedding plans is customization. This goes from the location, to signage and even down to their Wedding Ceremony plans. There are many different variations you can apply to the processional and recessional process as there is no one size fits all. Some that are based off religious traditions, some based off logistics, and some based purely off which side the Bride prefers to be photographed from. We are walking you through all of your options and how to put together the best plan for you. Putting a plan in place now will prevent any confusion and anxiety when you get to the rehearsal, and you can feel confident going into your Wedding day.
First of all, Processional and Recessional are likely terms you are not familiar with unless you happen to have been in a lot of Weddings. These are terms used to describe the entry and exit of the Bridal Party. Processional being entry and Recessional being the exit.
Who is Involved?
Before you think about how people will be walking in and out, think about who you want to be included in this process. “Traditionally” the below are included:
Where Will They Stand/Sit?
Before you can think about how people will walk in and walk out, think about where they are going to be during the ceremony. Traditionally the Bridal Party (Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Best Man and Maid of Honor) stand, lined up behind the Bride and Groom. However, various religious ceremonies require that the Bridal Party sit in the front row instead. For example, if you are hosting a Christian mass with your ceremony, they will be asked to sit as they cannot be up at the altar for the duration of a mass. Similarly, some Jewish ceremonies require the parents to stand up with the Bride and Groom and have the Bridal Party sit. Speak with whomever is conducting your ceremony to see if they have a religious or personal preference that works best for the content of your ceremony.
Their standing or seating order can be arranged in personal preference or height, always starting with the Best Man and Maid of Honor standing closest to the couple.
As far as sides for the Bride and Groom, traditionally the Bride is on the left side and the Groom is on the right side. If you are not having a formal or religious ceremony, you of course can switch this up however you’d like.
What's the Proper Order?
CHRISTIAN WEDDING CEREMONY:
Now, let’s talk about order. Traditionally, at a birds-eye view, the order should be:
JEWISH WEDDING CEREMONY:
Couples having a non-religious ceremony can choose any order they want. We recommend keeping the birds-eye view order while making your preference for the Groom, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen.
Same sex couple can select orders that reflect any religions, traditions or personal preferences they would like. Some same-sex wedding ceremony traditions we have seen and recommend:
APPLIES TO ALL:
Everyone exists essentially in the opposite order as how they walked in. The Bride and Groom of course lead the way, followed by the Maid of Honor and Best Man, the rest of the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen, Parents of the Bride and Groom, Grandparents of the Bride and Groom and then the Officiant. The rest of the guests will follow suit.
We love getting to know all of our clients and developing personal long lasting relationships with them. Especially with Weddings, we spend a lot of time learning about our client's backgrounds, lifestyles, families and ensuring everything about their day is personal to them!
Part of our consultation process when getting to know new clients is telling them about us and our story. It's very important that they feel we are experienced in the Wedding industry, but also that we have similar personalities to make the process as fun as possible!
Ashley has been working for Kelly Elizabeth Events for over 1 year and continues to dazzle clients with her positive attitude and attention to details. She can always be counted on to execute every logistic with a passion and expertise that allows her clients to enjoy their day without a worry. We love having her on the team and here's little bit more about her!
Ashley Auger - Wedding Coordinator
What type of Weddings are your favorite?
For me, the most special and meaningful Weddings are the ones that are unique and truly reflect the couple and what is important to them. There are so many creative ways to add small personal touches to your Wedding and I enjoy getting to learn about our couples through the planning process and trying to find ways to incorporate the things they love into their Wedding day. My favorite Weddings are the ones a little outside the norm and I love the challenge of making these visions a reality for our couples.
What’s a dream venue or destination where you’d love to plan a Wedding?
This one is tough! There are so many places in the world I would love to plan a Wedding, but my number one is The Boston Public Library. The outdoor courtyard is gorgeous, and I’m obsessed with Reed Hall. Someday hopefully!
What’s your biggest piece of advice for Bride’s planning their Wedding?
Focus on the bigger picture. When couples are planning their Wedding it can be easy to get caught up in all the little decisions. Your Wedding day is supposed to celebrate you two as a couple and the love you share! While picking out flowers and décor can be fun, that’s not the most important part. It can be tough when dealing with pressure from friends and family, but this day should reflect who you are, so don’t forget that!
Also, get a Day-of Wedding Coordinator! Even if you have the planning part down on your own, having someone there the day-of your Wedding to make sure your big day runs smoothly and is stress-free is priceless.
What do you like to do when you’re not planning Weddings?
I’m a bookworm (probably a reason I love the Boston Public Library so much) so in my free time I love reading, especially historical biographies. I also enjoy traveling and learning about different cultures and food of the world, cooking and spending time with my family.
Naturally since we are in the business of Weddings, Bachelorette parties are a common topic sourcing lots of questions from our clients (and let's be honest, friends and family). They are one of our favorite celebrations and they are such a fun way to gather all your gal pals and spoil the bride to be. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the work that goes into the planning them, especially when the group count can get pretty high, but take a breath! Here are some of our tips for throwing an unforgettable bachelorette party or weekend:
Talk to the Bride
When planning the Bachelorette party, remember it's all about your girl! While you may want to keep the specifics a surprise for the bride to be, it is important to talk to her and get an idea of what she is envisioning for her party before the party. Is she hoping for a wild weekend away in Vegas or a relaxing wine tasting followed by dinner at her favorite restaurant? This will not only ensure you plan something she will LOVE, but it's a great way to make her feel involved. Respect her wishes and aim to plain something within her vision and expectations.
PRO TIP: Have your Bride make a shared Pinterest board for her Bachelorette party! This is a great way for you to get a clear picture of what she wants and involve her in the fun party of planning - the ideas!
Bachelorette party costs can add up quickly and it is a must to stay on top of your budget! After talking to the bride and getting a feel for what she wants, discuss your plan with the rest of the bridal party to find a budget everyone is comfortable with. By setting a budget before you start planning, you can make sure that all the plans you are making are not going to break the bank and within everyone's means. It is totally possible to throw an amazing party without spending too much!
Once your budget is set and your planning is underway, collecting money and dividing costs can be a tricky task to tackle. We find the easiest way to accomplish this is to figure out all the anticipated costs for the weekend and have everyone pay ahead of time for the big group expenses. This allows you to have money to buy anything you need to ahead of time like tickets, hotel rooms, decorations etc.
PRO TIP: If you still have smaller expenses, i.e., Ubers, meals, drinks etc - we recommend the app Splitwise. It easily allows you to keep track of who pays for what throughout the weekend and who owes who - without you needing to do any of the math! At the end of the weekend it reconciles it all for you :)
Plan, Plan, Plan!
We recommend planning a few big group activities and always planning food! Finding a restaurant with availability for a large group last minute can be difficult, so to make sure you don’t end up with a group of hangry girls, research restaurants ahead of time and make a reservation for your group.
PRO TIP: If any of the activities you have planned are weather permitting it is always a good idea to have a back-up plan…just in case!
EXTRA PRO TIP: Make a shared playlist on Spotify that all the guests can add the bride’s favorite songs to. It will be the perfect soundtrack for the weekend!
Make it Personal!
It's always fun to make the bride to be feel extra special by getting some fun Bachelorette party décor! Pick a theme and spruce up your space with balloons and a fun garland. If you're having a night out, maybe deck out the car or party bus! If you're going away from a weekend - try to focus the décor in the shared areas of the house like the kitchen, living room or backyard. We also love making welcome bags or hangover kits to give the guests when they arrive. You can include anything from matching t-shirts or hats, mini bottles of champagne, sunglasses, water bottles, personalized tumblers, snacks, Tylenol…the options are endless! Etsy has an unlimited amount of ideas that let you personalize these items with the Brides name or the hashtag for the party.
PRO TIP: When it comes to NSFW décor - it's always best to respect the bride’s wishes. If she’s not into it, that’s ok! Remember this weekend is about celebrating her and you don’t want her to feel uncomfortable.
Keeping track of all the details for the Bachelorette party plans can be tough, but an excel spreadsheet can help keep you organized. You can keep a running RSVP list, outline your budget, gather all your décor and favor ideas in one place, make lists of activities and supplies you will need and keep a running list of to-do’s before the party. Trust us, this will be a lifesaver and avoid having 30 different lists. If you make it in Google Sheets, it's also something you can easily share with the rest of the bridal party!
PRO TIP: Print any confirmations, orders, etc that you may need for your plans ahead of time. This way you can avoid any issues brining something up on your.
Get Everyone Involved
This brings us to our next and last tip, planning a Bachelorette party can be a big task for one person..so delegate! Ask the others in the bridal party to help with specific tasks to help make the planning a little easier. One person can be in charge of making the favors, one person can research restaurants, one person can plan a fun game to play with the bride etc. By leaning on the rest of the bridal party for a little help you can focus on the other big stuff! Also - everyone likes to be involved and contribute - you all have one thing in common afterall, your love for the Bride!
Final Pro Tip - A Checklist to Get You Started!
Not sure where to start, here are 10 tasks to help you get started and organized when planning a Bachelorette party!
Enjoy some of our favorite tips, tricks and select event highlights!